The research in the track Tourism Geography and Planning is strongly embedded in the research of its staff, on the themes of Place, Identity and Well-being.
Central focus is the lived experiences of local peoples all over the world. Topics of recent research projects are: community engagement; ageing and wellbeing; innovation and rural transformation; socio-spatial consequences of population decline; heritage; historical landscape change; perception and evaluation of nature and landscape; nature and health; death and burial; entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility; employment opportunities; housing and the living environments of various groups within society; social impact assessment; social aspects of new technology; governance of places; social aspects of agriculture and farming; social aspects of natural resource management; and visitor and host experiences of tourism.
Our research embraces the social relations between people and places, emotional geographies, and the experience of spatial transformation and liveability. We believe that knowing one's 'place' is fundamental to the formation of human identity and to wellbeing. Forms of cultural expression such as art, architecture, ritual and language, and our understanding and appreciation of nature and landscape all interact with the physical environment in the creation of our individual and community life-stories. As such, the ways in which we construct and transform spaces and places manifest our imagination and self-awareness. In doing so, we make sense of, define, and celebrate our personal and collective identities, communities and localities.
Our research is strongly empirically embedded. During the master, students learn qualitative and quantitative research methodologies regarding place attachment, identities and liveability. In the Master thesis, there is room for innovative methods including visual methodologies and location-based applications (social or soft GIS).
The research theme of Place, Identity and Wellbeing fits within the faculty research programme 'towards Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation' (tWIST) and the themes population decline and Healthy Ageing.